Car dealerships and outdoor markets can reopen from next Monday

Car dealer

The Prime Minister made the announcement that car dealerships and outdoor markets will be able to open from 1 June, saying that the decision was based on the progress made to control the spread of Covid-19 by the lockdown that has been in place since mid-March.

Whilst these ‘mainly outdoor’ businesses can reopen on 1 June, with other ‘non-essential retail’ outlets set to open from 15 June onwards. The Prime Minister said that the decision was “thanks to the country’s collective effort” in obeying the lockdown rules implements to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson said that the government is publishing new guidance for the retail sector outlining steps outlets should take “to meet the necessary social distancing and hygiene standards”. He added: “Shops now have the time to implement this guidance before they reopen. This will ensure there can be no doubt about what steps they should take.”

The decision to allow car showrooms to open will be welcomed by the car industry, with sales of new cars virtually halted since retail outlets were forced to close in March. The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has been leading industry calls for the government to allow dealerships to open as soon as possible.

Alex Buttle, director, car selling comparison website, comments: “The car industry has had a tough few months since lockdown forced forecourts to close across the UK, so the news that dealerships can open on 1st June is a huge relief for dealers who simply can’t wait to open their doors to trade again.

“We are seeing a lot of pent up demand in the market at the moment and we expect to see a surge in car owners going to dealerships in the coming weeks.

“Many car owners have held off vehicle purchases they would have made since March 2020, so June could be a huge sales month for the industry.

“From a practical point of view, dealerships will be expected to follow strict social distancing guidelines, and many will take further hygiene precautions, such as using resealable bags to deal with the handling of V5C documentation, manuals, service history books, spare keys and other items typically handed over.”